Kidds Orange Red is a New Zealand bred variety with all the traits of a classic English apple. One parent is Cox's Orange Pippin which may well go some way to explain its deliciously aromatic flavour. The yellow skin becomes mostly covered with a red blush as it ripens and there is a little russeting, making a Kidds Orange Red apple a very handsome fruit, while the tree in flower is a beautiful sight. The firm flesh is firm and chewy, holding its juiciness to the last chomp. It gets its sweetness from Delicious which is its other parent. The trees are much less temperamental that their Cox parent and the fruit are superb for juicing. Pick in mid-October and your fruit will store till the new year.
Mr Kidd bred this variety in the 1920's from Cox's Orange Pippin and Red Delicious. It was introduced to the UK in 1932.
In flower in the mid-late season, Kidd's Orange Red is in pollination group D and being self-sterile needs a partner in groups D, D or E for cross-pollination. If in doubt, we always recommend using a crab apple tree, as they are very ornamental, bear great fruit for cooking with and are the best pollinators.
All of these trees are on MM106 rootstocks, the best all-round rootstock; these are suitable for wire-trained forms and larger orchard trees, up to 4 metres high. Much more disease resistant that a Cox, Kidd's Orange Red is still susceptible to canker, which tends to be more of a problem in the damper areas in the West of the country, and therefore we don't recommend them for organic growing. They are hardy trees and will do very well in Scotland and the North. They are not the most vigorous tree but the crops are reliable and the tree does not have a pronounced biennial tendency. Because of their relative lack of vigour, mature trees need little pruning and you don't need to thin the fruit too much - just pick off any small, malformed and diseased fruitlets after the June drop.